Updated: Jul 5
When people talk about American wine, they’re often thinking about California. As it turns out, there’s actually at least one winery in every state in the United States, and New York is one of the oldest wine-producing states in the country.
On a recent trip to New York, I got the chance to explore three Long Island wineries. Here, I’ll give a brief review of the places I visited, although there are hundreds of different options to choose from when visiting Long Island wine country.
For this trip, my grandmother Benita and I headed to the North Fork of Long Island, since it’s only about an hour drive from her home in Queens. While there are over 50 wine producers on Long Island, we stuck mainly to the Peconic and Jamesport areas.
We went on a rainy day in February, so we didn’t get much of a chance to visit any of the wineries’ outdoor patio areas, which I’m sure are beautiful in spring or summer. Nevertheless, each place still managed to make us feel cozy and welcome inside its tasting room.
Stop 1: Raphael Vineyards
We started with Raphael Vineyards for lunch with a pairing of four wines and cheeses.
We also ordered baked brie and a flatbread from the winery’s a la carte menu. All of the food we tried was fresh and tasty.
The inside of the winery was expansive, with high ceilings, chandeliers, and wood beams. Definitely somewhere I could see as a setting for weddings or special events.
1) 2017 Chardeaux, which was a mix of a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It was crisp, light, and a little bit tart with hints of green apple. 😊
2) 2017 Rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was very light in color with a floral, almost perfumed scent.
3) 2016 Estate Merlot, which was light red, almost reddish brown in color and very fruit forward. 😊
4) 2014 First Label Merlot, which had a more pronounced nose. It was a bit jammy and tasted of dark fruit. 😊 I tend to lean toward big, bold reds, and this was my favorite wine from Raphael.
All Raphael wines available for purchase can be explored via the winery’s website in the “Wine Shop” section.
Stop 2: Pindar Vineyards
Pindar is one of the largest and most well-known Long Island wineries. This vineyard stood out to me because of its focus on environmental sustainability. We also wanted to make it one of our stops to find out if Pindar had started producing canned wine yet,